On the parents and children in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘Like Father, Like Son’

Posted on September 19, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/hirokazu-kore-edas-like-father-like-son-and-its-nature-vs-nurture-examination-7370971.html

This week, we’re going to discuss a film about fathers and sons, but what birthed it was director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s relationship with his daughter. He said, in a Screen Anarchy interview, that he actually didn’t have very much time to spend with her, probably due to the nature of his job. “While working on my last film, I Wish, I was away for about a month and when I came home after being away for that duration, she recognized me as a father but I could see that there is this ‘resetting’ in her mind as to who I was. She was three at the time. Then when I was leaving the next day, in the hallway to say good bye, she said, ‘Please, come again.’ It was shocking to me. Then it came to me that even though we are connected by blood, a father has a very different existence and relationship, compared to that of a mother to a child.”

The experience made Kore-eda wonder about the ties between parents and children. “Especially time. The time we spend together, compared to just blood ties – all these went into making this film.” He was talking about Like Father, Like Son (2013), which asks all these questions. Who is a parent? Is parenthood defined by nature or nurture? What if you discovered that the boy you’ve brought up and love with all your heart isn’t biologically yours? The premise is melodramatic. The cause of confusion is pure melodrama, too – a switch-up in the hospital, where two infants were swapped. But the deeply moving film is anything but melodrama. This is not to say melodramas cannot be moving – just that Kore-eda, as always, composes in a minor key. Like Father, Like Son is so delicate that the placid surface hardly gives away the fact that an angry sea roils beneath.

Continued at the link above.

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